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Elementary courses in Russian and Polish are designed to meet the needs of students who begin to study the language in college as well as those who began to study the language in high school. One unit (year) of high school coursework is roughly equivalent to one semester of college work; all incoming students, however, who want to continue their study of Russian or Polish are assigned to courses on the basis of placement tests. These tests may admit a student to a more advanced course, but give no credit toward graduation. Students should speak with their instructor regarding retroactive credits during the first week of class.

To declare a major in Russian, students should make an appointment with the Russian undergraduate advisor, or call 608-262-3498.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of science degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Science DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Mathematics Two (2) 3+ credits of intermediate/advanced level MATH, COMP SCI, STAT
Limit one each: COMP SCI, STAT
Foreign Language Complete the third unit of a foreign language
Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
L&S Breadth
  • Humanities, 12 credits: 6 of the 12 credits must be in literature
  • Social Sciences, 12 credits
  • Natural Sciences, 12 credits: must include 6 credits in biological science; and must include 6 credits in physical science
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework 108 credits
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work 60 intermediate or advanced credits
Major Declare and complete at least one (1) major
Total Credits 120 credits
UW-Madison Experience 30 credits in residence, overall
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison

Non–L&S Students PURSUING AN L&S MAJOR

Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

The Russian major requires 35 total credits. The major may be completed through one of three program tracks: 

  1. Language and Literature track
  2. Language and Civilization track
  3. Russian for Native Speakers track

Language requirement Core

All Russian majors require 20 credits in language courses above SLAVIC 204 Fourth Semester Russian, including:20
SLAVIC 275
SLAVIC 276
Third Year Russian I
and Third Year Russian II 1
8
SLAVIC 315
SLAVIC 316
Russian Language and Culture I
and Russian Language and Culture II
4
SLAVIC 321
SLAVIC 322
Fourth Year Russian I
and Fourth Year Russian II
8
1

 Students may also take SLAVIC 279 Intensive Third Year Russian to satisfy the 3rd Year Russian I & II Requirement.

Major in Russian: Russian Language and Literature Track

In addition to the core 20 credits in advanced Russian language courses, the Russian Language and Literature track requires 16 credits.

One course in Russian culture for 4 credits:4
Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917) 1
Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)
Two courses in Russian literature in translation for a total of 8 credits:8
Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation I
and Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II 2,3
One 400-level course in Russian literature for 4 credits (after completing SLAVIC 276):4
Women in Russian Literature
Chekhov
Gogol
Dostoevsky
Tolstoy
Soviet Literature
Total Credits16
1

LITTRANS 233 and LITTRANS 234 are not language courses.

2

LITTRANS 203/LITTRANS 204 are open to freshmen; they may be used to meet the literature (humanities) breadth requirement. LITTRANS 203 and LITTRANS 204, in addition, fulfill the Communication Part B writing requirement. It is preferable to take these Literature in Translation courses in numerical sequence, though they may be taken out of sequence. Although LITTRANS 203/LITTRANS 204 count toward total credits required for the major, they also count as part of the 80 credits that must be earned outside the Russian program. 

3

Students who take LITTRANS 201 Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation I or LITTRANS 202 Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II before declaring the major should consult with the advisor.

Note: Students majoring in Russian language and literature are eligible to earn the Certificate in Russian, East European, and Central Asia Studies.

Major in Russian: Russian Language and Civilization Track

In addition to the core 20 credits in advanced Russian language courses, the Russian Language and Civilization track requires 17 credits.

One course in Russian culture for 4 credits:4
Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917) (if not used to fulfill the area studies requirement below) 1
Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)
One course in Russian civilization for 4 credits:4
Russia: An Interdisciplinary Survey
Select 9 credits in area studies courses including any of the following or other courses as approved by the advisor:9
Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917) (if not used to fulfill the culture requirement above) 1
Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)
Russian and Soviet Film
Contemporary Economic Issues (only when the topic focuses on Russia) 2
Russia and the NIS-Topical Analysis
History of Russia
History of Soviet Russia
Russian Social and Intellectual History
Latino History and Politics
Advanced Seminar in History 2
Selected Topics in Political Science 2
Socialism and Transitions to the Market
Russian Politics
History of Russian Culture 3
Contemporary Russian Culture 3
History of Russian Theatre
And other courses as approved by the advisor.
Total Credits17
1

LITTRANS 233 and LITTRANS 234 are not language courses. They have the prerequisite of sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. LITTRANS 233 and LITTRANS 234 can be taken to fulfill either the Russian culture requirement or part of the 9 credits of area studies, but the same course cannot be used to count for both requirements.

2

These courses are eligible only when the topics course focuses on Russia. 

3

SLAVIC 433 and SLAVIC 434 are taught in Russian, and enrollment in these courses requires consent of the instructor.

Courses fulfilling this requirement may also be taken in study abroad in the UW–Madison study abroad program in Russia (consult with the major advisor for more information).

Area studies courses above count toward total credits required for the major and also count as part of the 80 credits that must be earned outside the Russian program (except for LITTRANS 233 Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917)/LITTRANS 234 Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)).

Note: Students majoring in Russian language and civilization are not eligible to earn the Certificate in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies administered by the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), if they are focusing on Russia for the certificate. If they focus on Eastern Europe or Central Asia, they may also get the certificate.

Major in Russian: Russian for Native Speakers Track

Students who are native speakers of Russian may elect a major in Russian. They are required to take 36 credits of courses in Russian language and literature.

Students electing this major must take SLAVIC 275 Third Year Russian I/SLAVIC 276 Third Year Russian II, SLAVIC 315 Russian Language and Culture I/SLAVIC 316 Russian Language and Culture II, and SLAVIC 321 Fourth Year Russian I/SLAVIC 322 Fourth Year Russian II unless they place out of these courses. If they place out of any of these courses, they must take additional credits in advanced Russian language and literature courses (courses numbered Slavic 400 and higher).

In addition to the core 20 credits in advanced Russian language courses, the Russian for Native Speakers track requires:

One course in Russian culture for 4 credits:4
Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917) 1
Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)
Two courses in Russian literature in translation for a total of 8 credits:8
Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation I
and Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II
Select at least one 400-level Slavic course in Russian literature4
Women in Russian Literature
Chekhov
Gogol
Dostoevsky
Tolstoy
Soviet Literature
Total Credits16
1

LITTRANS 233 and LITTRANS 234 are not language courses. They have the prerequisite of sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

Distinction in the Major in Russian

With the permission of the Russian program honors advisor, students who are not in any of the honors programs may work toward Distinction in the Major in Russian. Distinction in the Major may be granted for any student who has a 3.500 grade point average in the major, and who has submitted an acceptable senior thesis.

Residence and quality of work

2.000 GPA in all courses counting toward the major1

2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level credits for the major, taken in residence2

15 credits, counting toward the major, taken on campus1

1 Additional Courses that may count towards the Russian major

The following courses also count toward the major GPA and count toward the 15 credits taken on campus requirement:

SLAVIC 101 First Semester Russian4
SLAVIC 102 Second Semester Russian4
SLAVIC 117 Intensive Second Year Russian4
SLAVIC 118 Intensive Second Year Russian4
SLAVIC 181 Russian Honors Tutorial for Slavic 1011
SLAVIC 182 Russian Honors Tutorial for Slavic 1021
SLAVIC 203 Third Semester Russian4
SLAVIC 204 Fourth Semester Russian4
SLAVIC 275 Third Year Russian I3-4
SLAVIC 276 Third Year Russian II3-4
SLAVIC 321 Fourth Year Russian I4
SLAVIC 322 Fourth Year Russian II4

2 Upper Level courses

LITTRANS 221 Gogol in Translation3-4
LITTRANS 222 Dostoevsky in Translation3-4
SLAVIC 275
SLAVIC 276
Third Year Russian I
and Third Year Russian II
8
SLAVIC 276 Third Year Russian II3-4
SLAVIC 309 Russian Area Studies on Study Abroad1-4
SLAVIC 310 Topics in Russian: Study Abroad1-6
SLAVIC 315
SLAVIC 316
Russian Language and Culture I
and Russian Language and Culture II
4
SLAVIC 316 Russian Language and Culture II2
SLAVIC 321
SLAVIC 322
Fourth Year Russian I
and Fourth Year Russian II
8
SLAVIC 322 Fourth Year Russian II4
SLAVIC 405 Women in Russian Literature3-4
SLAVIC 420 Chekhov3-4
SLAVIC 421 Gogol3-4
SLAVIC 422 Dostoevsky3-4
SLAVIC 424 Tolstoy3-4
SLAVIC 440 Soviet Literature3-4
SLAVIC/​THEATRE  532 History of Russian Theatre3
SLAVIC 681 Senior Honors Thesis3
SLAVIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis3
SLAVIC 699 Directed Study1-6

Honors in the Major in Russian

Students may declare Honors in the Russian Major in consultation with the Russian Honors advisor.

Honors in the Russian Major Requirements

To earn a B.A. or B.S. with Honors in the Major in Russian students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.500 GPA for all SLAVIC courses beyond SLAVIC 204 Fourth Semester Russian
  • Complete 20 credits, taken for Honors, with individual grades of B or better in each course, beyond SLAVIC 204 Fourth Semester Russian, to include:
1

 Exceptions are often granted when students take these courses abroad or during a summer study program

University Degree Requirements 

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Russian language proficiency: Students will develop speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills and integrate these skills to communicate in Russian in a variety of social situations.
  2. Students will develop and apply writing skills and oral communication skills appropriate to liberal arts education in the context of Slavic studies.
  3. Students will develop and apply critical thinking skills inherent in the liberal arts tradition in the context of Slavic studies.
  4. Language & Literature Track and Native Speaker Track: Students who complete this track will be able to analyze and interpret works of literature in themselves and in the context of specific historical and cultural conditions.
  5. Language & Civilization Track: Students who complete this track will demonstrate insight into Russian culture and civilization and apply this knowledge across disciplines such as history, political science, the arts, geography, business, economics, sociology, the sciences, gender studies, philosophy, law, folklore.

Advising and Careers

For advising in Russian or Polish contact our Russian and Polish undergraduate advisor Anna Tumarkin.

For placement in Russian contact Anna Tumarkin.

For placement in Polish contact Ewa Miernowska.

For information on the Russian Flagship Program contact Laura Weigel or visit their program page.

For other undergraduate concerns, please contact our Undergraduate Coordinator:

Bridget Sutton, Undergraduate Coordinator
undergrad@gns.wisc.edu
608-262-2090
1306 Van Hise

For additional career advising please contact:

Michael Kruse
International Directions Advisor
Language Institute
mkruse@wisc.edu

Letters & Science Career Initiative & Career Services
1305 Linden Drive, Suite 205
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-3921
careers@saa.ls.wisc.edu
http://careers.ls.wisc.edu/
 

Professors David Danaher, Alexander Dolinin, Karen Evans-Romaine, Halina Filipowicz, Tomislav Longinovic, Irina Shevelenko, Manon van de Water

Associate Professor Andrew Reynolds

Assistant Professor Marina Zilbergerts

Faculty Associates Jennifer Tishler, Anna Tumarkin

Senior Lecturers Galina Lapina, Ewa Miernowska

Lecturer Alexandra Walter